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Philly Poetry Love-In //Trapeta Mayson, "Letter to my Sister" |

Happy Monday! Today's poem is nominated by Yolanda Wisher, Germantown poet and musician. She nominates accomplished poet and teaching artist Trapeta Mayson. (Yolanda sent in her nomination via Twitter: you can too!)

Yolanda says: "I love this poem like I love my sisters. Love that she "poems" her pain and asks what you gonna do with yours. To create = to heal."



Letter to my Sister

I have turned our childhood into a few dozen verses; there are places for dramatic pause, and where memory failed, I embellished a bit.

You’ve grown impatient with me and my so-called poetic license; I don’t remember that has become your weary mantra.

D, I am learning to excavate the good times too. Can’t you see where I’ve colored some words? Inserted those tender moments? A famous writer once said that eventually I will tire of myself and will be compelled to tell the I-less stories….I anxiously await that moment. But for now, I want to tell them

about our war with mama’s illness and how at school we were maimed for being foreign.

Remember D? When they chased us up Tioga Street and accused us of having voodoo and scanned our dark bodies for tribal scars and discovered the cayenne pepper we had hidden; to throw in their faces, to sting them, to make them fear us, to be left alone, to be African.

D, I have managed to poem all my pain; tell me, what do you do with yours?

(Want to shout out a worthy work? To celebrate Poetry Month, we’re asking all our voracious readers to tell us YOUR favorite poems by local poets. To nominate a poem, send us the title, link or text, and author name, as well as a sentence about why and how you love it, to info@apiarymagazine.com (We’ll publish links to/excerpts of the work so credit goes to the original publications where they appeared, when possible, and get writers’ permission).)


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